Media Advisory - CJFE Gala: A Night to Honour Courageous Reporting

TORONTO, Nov. 21, 2011 /CNW/ - On November 24, 2011, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) and distinguished guests, including Belarussian former presidential candidate Ales Michalevic, will honour two international Arab Spring journalists, three former federal scientists and late Canadian journalist Ron Haggart with three awards for their immense courage and commitment to freedom of expression. Anna Maria Tremonti, host of CBC Radio's The Current, will emcee the 14th annual CJFE Gala.

The International Press Freedom Awards recognize the strength and bravery of international journalists who overcome massive obstacles to deliver news. In the face of judicial, physical or life-endangering threats, these journalists work tirelessly so that news media remain free.

The Vox Libera Award is an annual award granted to a Canadian individual or organization that has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the principles of free expression and has made an important and sustained contribution at home or abroad to those same principles.

The Integrity Award is a brand new award, conferred upon Canadians who act in the public interest, without thought of personal gain, when they speak out about dangerous, unethical or illegal practices they learned of or experienced in the course of doing their jobs. The award highlights the right of all Canadians to take action in the public interest, and their right to freedom of expression in doing so.

WHO:     2011 International Press Freedom Award Winners
    Khaled al-Hammadi (Yemen) has worked as a photojournalist, correspondent and fixer for foreign media. He has spent 16 years trying to explain his country to the outside world, and because he has been so public and outspoken he has faced ongoing threats, attacks and harassment by the government administration and its security and army agencies. He has been arrested, kidnapped and had his equipment destroyed.
    Mohamed Abdelfattah (Egypt) helped expose the story of Khaled Said, the young man who was beaten to death by Egyptian police in June 2010. Said's death is widely believed to have been the spark that ignited the revolution in Egypt, and Abdelfattah was among the first to report on the ensuing protests and discredit the government version that Said was a drug dealer. Abdelfattah was the first to speak to CBC News Network about what happened the day popular uprisings broke out on January 25 and how he was beaten and detained by Egyptian security forces. Mohamed will not be attending the event.
    2011 Vox Libera Award Winner
    Ron Haggart (1927-2011) won numerous awards for his work, including a National Newspaper Award for his first-hand reports of the 1971 Kingston Penitentiary riot, and two Geminis, including the Gordon Sinclair Award for Broadcast Journalism. Throughout his life, he remained dedicated to exercising and defending the right to free expression, making him a champion for free speech in Canada. Over the course of a long career, he worked at The Vancouver Sun, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, The Toronto Telegram, Citytv, and the CBC.
    2011 Integrity Award Winners
    Dr. Shiv Chopra, Dr. Margaret Haydon and Dr. Gérard Lambert are three former federal scientists regarded as heroes around the world, particularly for raising concerns regarding Monsanto's bovine grown hormone (rBGH), a drug designed to boost the milk production of dairy cattle. These revelations triggered international headlines and resulted in rBGH being banned in Canada and most other developed countries, but also led to the three scientists being reprimanded, ordered to be silent, and eventually dismissed from Health Canada.
WHEN:     Thursday, November 24, 2011
    Media registration & Cocktail reception               6:00 p.m.
    Program & Dinner                                                   7:00 p.m.

Canadian Room, Fairmont Royal York Hotel
100 Front Street West (between Bay Street and York Street)

The CJFE Gala is made possible by the support of returning Evening Sponsor Scotiabank, Reception Sponsor CBC News, Platinum Sponsor CTV News, Exhibition Sponsor Henry's, along with the valued support of other organizations and individuals across the media, legal, academic, and business communities.

About Canadian Journalists for Free Expression

Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) boldly champions the free expression rights of journalists and media workers around the world. In Canada, we monitor, defend and promote free expression and access to information. We encourage and support individuals and groups to be vigilant in the protection of their own and others' free expression rights. We are active participants and builders of the global free expression community.

Follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #CJFEgala.

SOURCE Canadian Journalism Foundation

For further information:

For more information or to speak with the honourees, please contact:

Susanne Gossage
Media Profile
        Karolina Olechnowicz
Media Profile



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